Planning Portal

Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
Regional Planning Policies: Conservation

Nature Conservation

Northern Ireland has a rich variety of habitats containing numerous plant and animal species. Over many decades, however, development, changes in agricultural techniques and other environmental changes have continued to threaten this diversity of wildlife habitats. Development can damage the habitat of individual sites. Through factors such as disturbance, alterations to drainage and pollution, it can also affect the ecology of a much wider area.
The Government attaches great importance to various international obligations it has assumed in the area of nature conservation. There is widespread public support for the protection of' important habitats. A key task is to ensure the effective conservation of wildlife and natural features while making adequate provision for development and economic growth.
A major component of the nature conservation strategy is the designation and protection of sites which are of significant nature conservation importance. The protection of key sites in itself is however not sufficient. Account will therefore be taken of the need for nature conservation in the production of development plans and in decisions on individual development proposals.
A new Development Control Advice Note entitled "Nature Conservation" is to be published setting out the current policy of the Department on planning matters concerned with nature conservation. It will also provide background information about the relevant legislation and various categories of area designation.
The Conservation section of the Regional Planning Policies contains the following policies:
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